Health Spas & Charities - Utah Business Licensing Association

Report
UTAH DIVISION OF CONSUMER
PROTECTION: AN ENFORCEMENT PERSPECTIVE
Liz Blaylock, Investigator
CONSUMER PROTECTION MISSION
•EDUCATION
•ENFORCEMENT
•REGISTRATION
STATUTES ENFORCED
•
Business Opportunity Disclosure Act Utah Code Ann. 13-15
• Charitable Solicitation Act Utah Code Ann. 13-22
•
•
•
Child Protection Registry Utah Code Ann. 13-39
Consumer Sales Practice Act Utah Code Ann. 13-11
Credit Services Organizations Act Utah Code Ann. 13-21
• Health Spa Services Protection Act Utah Code Ann. 13-23
• Immigration Consultants Registration Act Utah Code Ann. 13-49
• Music Licensing Practices Act Utah Code Ann. 13-10a
• New Motor Vehicles Warranty Act (Lemon Law) Utah Code Ann. 13-20
• Pawnshop and Secondhand Merchandise Transaction Information Act Utah Code 13-22a
• Price Controls During Emergencies Act Utah Code Ann. 13-41
• Prize Notices Regulation Act Utah Code Ann. 13-28
• Postsecondary Proprietary School Act Utah Code Ann. 13-24
• Postsecondary School State Authorization Act, Utah Code Ann. §13-34a
• Pyramid Scheme Act Utah Code Ann. 76-6a
• Telephone and Facsimile Solicitation Act Utah Code Ann. 13-25a
• Telephone Fraud Prevention Act Utah Code Ann. 13-26
• Uniform Debt-Management Services Act Utah Code Ann. 13-42
• Unfair Practices Act Utah Code Ann. 13-5
• Uniform Debt-Management Services Act Utah Code Ann. 13-42
THE DIVISION’S JURISDICTION =
THAT’S A LOT!!!!!
Any transaction that occurs
where the consumer OR the
business resides within the
state of Utah
1. Telemarketing
2. Coaching Services
3. Retail Sales
4.Deposits & Refunds
5. E-Commerce & Internet Offers
6.Alarm Systems
7. Personal Services
8.Auto Repair & Sales
9.Home Improvement & Repair
10.Debt Collection
THE DIVISION’S COMPLAINT PROCESS
Investigated
No Violation, case
closed
Case
Compliant
Filed
Investigated
Violation
occurred
Referred Consumer
notified of referral,
complaint is
forwarded to the
appropriate agency
Corrective
Action
Settlement
Hearing
FINDINGS
& ORDER
AGENCY
Review
JUDICIAL
Review
CONSUMER SALES PRACTICES ACT
UTAH BLAZE NOT PART OF AFL — FOR NOW
ARENA FOOTBALL » UTAH OWNER DISPUTES FRANCHISE IS FOLDING.
Utah Blaze ticket holders eligible for refunds
Ticket holders left holding the bag when the Utah Blaze arena football team
ceased operations last year may finally be able to recoup their money. The Utah
Division of Consumer Protection announced Tuesday that Blaze …
Utah Health Spa Services Protection Act
Utah Code §13-23 (1987)
HEALTH SPA?
“We don’t offer massages or facials, we
aren’t a Health Spa.”
“Our gym doesn’t have a steam room so I
don’t see how this law applies?”
“You’ve got the wrong place lady, we do
body building here.”
“This isn’t some relaxing spa, this is a
gym.”
HEALTH SPA MEANS:
"any person, partnership, joint venture, corporation, association,
or other entity that, for a charge or fee, provides as one of its primary
purposes services or facilities that are purported to assist patrons to
improve their physical condition or appearance through:
• aerobic conditioning; strength training; fitness
training; or other exercise.
TRAINING STUDIO
FITNESS CENTER
GYM
PERSONAL TRAINER
HEALTH CLUB
When you think of this…
Think HEALTH SPA!
WHAT DO
THEY NEED
TO DO WITH
CONSUMER
PROTECTION?
SURETY WHAT?
• Register and obtain a permit
• Submit contract and pricing
information
• Submit proof of liability insurance
• Post a Surety Bond
Surety is used to guarantee consumers a
refund of the reaming balance on their
contract in the event the gym closes and
has consumers it owes.
SURETY IN EFFECT
Division Of Consumer Protection SECURED
$227,252.35 In Refunds To Utah Consumers
ENFORCEMENT ACTION
• If there is substantial evidence of a violation of the HSPA, the
Division may
 DENY, REVOKE or SANCTION the entity
 $$$$ Fine the entity
 Issue a cease and desist order
 Seek an order in Court to enjoin prohibited conduct, seek
damages, disgorgement, and other remedies.
• Administrative fines under this chapter are up to $2,500 per
violation. Each day the violation is committed or permitted to
continue constitutes a separate punishable offense.
Health Spa Fraud Case
“If your Goal is to Lose Body Fat, Control
diabetes, Treat Arthritis, Reduce Cellulite,
Lower your Blood Pressure … then this
WEIGHT LOSS study is for YOU!”
INVESTIGATIVE RESULTS:
–
–
–
–
Not a “Weight Loss Study”
Participants did not “Volunteers ”
No medical providers
Results were not tracked
The program services advertised to be valued at “over $449”
were NOT included and were NOT FREE.
Consumers that “Volunteered” for the “Study” were in fact
purchasing a 2 year non-cancelable gym membership with a
monthly fee of $39, a total cost of $936
Regular gym memberships at this facility cost $9.99 and $19.99 per
month depending on the membership plan.
5. Obligations of the Division: The Division agrees to assess a $10,000 fine as
penalty for the violations that occurred. The Division agrees to accept a $2,500 fine
from Respondents and stay the remaining balance of $7,500 for a period of one year.
UTAH CHARITABLE SOLICITATIONS ACT
Utah Code §13-22 (1987)
The Changing Landscape of Giving
WHAT’S A CHARITY ?
Any person, joint venture, partnership,
limited liability company, corporation,
association, group, or other entity that
solicits or obtains contributions solicited
from the public for a charitable purpose.
educational, voluntary health, philanthropic, humane,
patriotic, religious, social welfare, advocacy, public health,
public safety, environmental , conservation, civic organization,
law enforcement, firefighter fraternal association……
WHAT IS A
CHARITABLE
SOLICITATION?
WHAT DOES A
CHARITY HAVE
TO DO TO
SOLICIT?
• A request, directly or indirectly, for money,
credit, property, financial assistance, or any
other thing of value on the plea or
representation that it will be used for a
charitable purpose.
• Register as a non-profit entity with
Corporations and Commercial Code
• Apply for an IRS tax exemption
• Register with the Utah Division of Consumer
Protection
ENFORCEMENT ACTION
• If there is substantial evidence of a violation of the CSA, the
Division may
 DENY, REVOKE or SANCTION the entity
$$$$ Fine the entity
 Issue a cease and desist order
 Seek an order in Court to enjoin prohibited conduct, seek
damages, disgorgement, and other remedies
• Administrative fines under this chapter are up to $500 per
violation up to $10,000 maximum for any series of violations
arising out of the same operative facts.
CHARITY FRAUD CASE
United States Navy Veterans Association
Bobby Thompson
Blanca Contreras
Raised nearly $100 MILLION from donors in 41 states between 2002 to 2009
Blanca Contreras
- pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern
of corrupt activity, aggravated theft,
money laundering and tampering with
records.
- Sentenced to 5 years in prison and faces
deportation to her native Mexico upon
her release.
Bobby Thompson
is really former
Army Capt and Harvard law school
graduate John Donald Cody.
-December 2013 ”BOBBY “ was convicted
of 23 charges including corrupt activity,
racketeering, money laundering, records
tampering, theft and identity theft.
-sentenced to 28 years in prison with the
first parole release date in April 2040*
DIVISION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION
[email protected]
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Phone: 801-530-6601 | Toll-Free: 1-800-721-SAFE | Fax: 801-530-6001

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